October 23, 2023
Boeing subsidiary Wisk Aero conducted a public demonstration flight of its fully, self-flying electric aerial vehicle (EAV) in Los Angeles.
Wisk flew its fifth-generation vertical takeoff and landing vehicle at Long Beach Airport with the first public demonstration of the EAV in the Los Angeles region.
The vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, which seats four people, has a fixed wingspan of 50 feet and cruises up to 4,000 feet above ground at speeds up to 135 mph.
The plane is self-flying “with human oversight,” according to the company.
“Autonomous flight is possible today and it’s happening now in LA,” said Brian Yutko, Wisk CEO. “Los Angeles is a target launch city for many in our industry and we are extremely proud to be the first air taxi company to fly in LA – and to have done so with an autonomous aircraft. We are fortunate to have the partnership and support of Boeing throughout the area to help build relationships and advance our mission.”
Boeing last year invested $450 million in Wisk and later acquired the startup, making it a Boeing subsidiary.
Boeing, Archer Aviation and Wisk recently agreed to collaborate on autonomous flight and settle pending litigation.
For the recent California planning, Wisk partnered with Long Beach starting in 2022 to start test activities in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. The company also sponsored research on the economic impact of advanced air mobility for the region.
Earlier this year, Wisk conducted a demonstration flight of its EAV, including hovering and wing-borne flight multiple times and included 360-degree turns in place. That demonstration was at the airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Wisk, one of the highest-funded EAV companies, recently announced a partnership with Japan Airlines to provide flying taxis to Japan.
The infrastructure for flying vehicles is being developed globally. For example, Beta Technologies is installing EAV charging stations at airports, including Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and the Raleigh Executive Jetport in North Carolina.
Vertiports to provide for the takeoff, landing and servicing of EAVs are being developed by companies such as Volatus Infrastructure, also located at the airport in Oshkosh.
And showrooms for the general public to see and purchase flying vehicles are being developed by Aeroauto, with two showrooms already opened in Florida and another in development in Austin, Texas.
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